May 12th was designated as ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia International Awareness day back in 1993, 16 years ago today. The particular date of May 12th was chosen to honor the birthdate of Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross. Florence Nightingale became chronically ill in her mid-thirties with an illness like ME/CFS (and who knows – maybe it was!) and she spent the remainder of her life (over 50 years) practically bedridden.
Even though Florence was suffering from a debilitating illness, she still managed to become the founder of the world’s first School of Nursing. Since then much has happened in the way of progress to help the millions of ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia sufferers, but there is still much more that needs to be done.
ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia Awareness Day activities are designed to increase public awareness of ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia, as well as to assist patients and organizations in educating the general public, healthcare professionals, government officials, and legislative bodies.
Cort Johnson from Phoenix Rising added the following comment on ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia Awareness Day & how it all began…
I would note that Tom Hennessey – a very articulate advocate and former advertising executive and the leader of RESCIND – was responsible for coming up with that day. Unfortunately Tom has been disabled for the 15 years with a horrendous case of ME/CFS. It’s so sad how little progress we’ve made in this disease.